Hey y'all -
Now that winter is upon us and there are more posts about cooling systems, I thought I'd share my experience.
I just finished flushing my cooling system. Last time I did the job, I bought an aftermarket thermostat from I think Pep Boys. I replaced the water pump at the same time. Since then, the car has behaved fine, but I've always had the feeling that it's been over-cooling: heater warm but not hot, low reading on the temp gauge: within normal, but only just. Also quite a bit of fluctuation in the temperature during driving.
I decided to buy a Motorcraft thermostat this time, since a growing number of aftermarket parts seem to be made in China. I did the job and took it for a long test run last night.
I was amazed: the heater was hot, the temp gauge went straight up to about 1/3 on the gauge and remained there rock solid until I got back home: it rose a bit while I was parking then the fans kicked in for a moment and it settled back. Now the engine seems to be reaching and maintaining its proper operating temperature, and even the idling seems smoother. I'm interested whether there may be a tiny improvement in gas mileage.
Apart from changing the fluid, all I did was move to a Motorcraft thermostat: the other thermostat was clearly operating as well as it did new. Maybe flushing helped, but the water was pretty clear. For the sake of a few extra $$, I'd strongly advise Motorcraft for thermostats!
Oh, and I think the radio reception might be a bit better......is there ANYTHING this thermostat can't do??